According to Federal Computer Week, the Social Security Administration, or SSA, has a new data center in the works. Unfortunately, that new center is more than a year behind schedule.
The current National Computer Center (NCC,) has multiple problems. There are tangled electrical and telecommunication cables beneath the floors of the building. There are also clogged pipes, an outdated HVAC system and what’s been described as an ‘antique’ power system that is ‘uninterruptible.’ The entire structure, which was build in the 1970s, is near collapse.
All of these issues combined means that the vital agency could be shut down for days without warning at any time, according to the testimony of SSA deputy commissioner, Kelly Croft, at a committee hearing this past February 11th, 2011.
She added that one day of outage could cost the agency $25 million in lost productivity.
The new center is slated to be ready by August of 2016 and will be able to store approximately 500,000 electronic records which determine benefits for citizens.
Officials are concerned that the current data center may not last long enough due to all of the issues occurring within.
The current NCC is undergoing improvements in an effort to prevent any catastrophic disasters from occurring. However, many feel that these repairs are only a bandage that will not necessarily ensure the survival of the building or the current system until the new center is ready.
In short, if the current data center fails, approximately 56 million Americans will not receive more than $700 billion dollars in benefits. Furthermore, data on current U.S. workers may be lost. The center currently processes more than 75 million transactions every day.